a color meme assignment from tanglethis: deep orange-yellow, goldenrod

July 19, 2010

first, hello dusty old blog. tanglethis posted her response to a color challenge meme a while back. after i admired it, she assigned me GOLDENROD. after a longer while, i answered.

second, most emphatically, i HATE goldenrod. it makes me feel like my face is trying to wiggle off in the itchiest way possible. however, i love the bright, orangey-yellow color of it. so here goes.

A. Egg yolks that come out of hens who are cage-free, vegetarian-fed, and in general left to live as happily as possible. The rich, extra-orange imbues puddings and pastries with a wonderful creamy color. Oh, and taste. They taste so very much more eggy.

B. Marigolds. Once again, a plant that makes me itchy and wheezy, but one I love just the same. Nature’s answer to anti-pest, the perfect partner to tomato plants or any other edible. They are sunny and pert and apparently very irritating to insects and rodents. Does this make me akin to pests? I hope.

C. Crayola crayons. The ones used by young children (and myself) most often to draw the fire-spit bits around the sun. Not the mellow, all yellow circle of a sun, no. The sun that really means it, the sun that is hot. They are creatively named: yellow-orange and orange-yellow.

D. Parrots. Specifically, the two parrots living in our house wear this color as well. Cricket wears an orangey-yellow scattered over her forehead and shoulders. Salad wears a combo of yellow belly and orange vest, and yes, that counts. They are decorated in these brights along with other equally vivid and lovely colors. And they are bright spots in my life.

E. Classic goldfish. My siblings and I had several growing up, all named Charlie. I remember up to Charlie XII, though there may have been a few more. Eventually we graduated to a real aquarium with several varieties of small fish, and I continue to keep an aquarium today. Our giant, dark and shy pleco knows he has sunny goldfish Charlies in his family tree.

F. Fire. It is wild and mesmerizing, it makes me feel warm in the cold and damp. Nothing else inspires such a duality of relaxation and wariness. Nothing, I believe, is really more alive. A beauty so intense it must lap and chew and consume just to exist.

G. Apricots. They taste as they look–warm and full of sweet juice. They taste of being grown on a tree in full sun. They remind me of my mother. They are a pleasure that is currently all mine, as the man I share my life with is allergic to them. They can be eaten in three bites or in twenty. They glow.

H. Kitchen wall paint. The color my family keeps trying to buy for the kitchen walls in the house in the mountains. The first attempt was gold. Not quite the intent. The second attempt was flat-out yellow. Also not the intent, and still on the walls. Every time I look at them I imagine what color of paint should be there.

I. Tomatoes. The bright, rich, low-acid variety that are everywhere at the farmers’ markets right now. The height of summer in one piece of, yes, fruit. Golden and practically bursting open with tart juice. Daring us with their loveliness.

J. Lastly, this poem. It’s not so much that I love the style or the language choices, but that it so perfectly captures a moment in time that I adore. When you’re not sure if it has started to be fall yet, goldenrod is all around.


The goldenrod is yellow,
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curing in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges haunt their harvest,
In every meadow’s nook;
And asters by the brookside
Make asters in the brook.

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes’ sweet odore rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all those lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson


hiding spots, or lack thereof

February 1, 2010

we have a phobic parrot. no puppy-prozac, no loving-patient-bring-her-back-to-life solution. just another fact of life the way it is now, something to make us sad and frustrated. for me, it means she wants to be held all the time, preferably tucked under my chin or behind my neck–most preferably hiding under the collar of my bathrobe or in my hood. i think, how did this happen? how can we make this better? and how come there isn’t a hood for me to crawl into, warm and safe against the neck of someone who tends to my every need?

sometimes i feel we’ve lost the knack for comforting each other–we are too worn down, too unsure. at least we are still able to be there, to be together, to occasionally search out a tiny laugh. lately, while he was still recovering from food poisoning (for real. this lasted weeks.) and while we both were laid up with the flu, comfort became easier, more basic. i can fetch you some tylenol. i can cook for you something bland and starchy. you can cover me with blankets, you can bring me more water. we just became so bodily exhausted that everything else had to be put aside.

now i feel better, and i’m not sure how i feel. i think he feels the same. maybe it’s a chance to consider us shoved (dragged?) a big step in the right direction.

and then there’s retail therapy. i bought a dress today. i have no shoes that go with this dress. which i guess is surprising. i have no place to wear it, no event. but it is navy and lime green, and it was shaped to understand that i have some serious bosoms. so i bought it, and just a little bit, it made me feel good. if i haven’t worn it in a year, it will go away, but for now, there’s a new dress hanging in my closet. well, it will be hanging, as soon as i get around to it. i fully believe environment can reflect and affect mood. we’ve been messy and dark, small wonder. a hibernating cave of illness and sadness. who says cleaning has to wait for spring? i’m putting on new sheets tonight (guess what, they are lime green) and replacing the bathroom curtain. it’s paper, and full of scrawly writing that says something. maybe i’ll even try to read it. we tape it to the window and lots of light comes through, but no peeking. one small moon-step. one very large ramble of type.

ps. i’ve been into learning what wordpress has to say about my use of language, since it told me that “ladies” was offensive on the haiku blog. it’s just told me several times that i shouldn’t be using passive language, and that i should capitalize, not invent words, and particularly not use “complex expressions” like “reflect.” well, that’s another tiny laugh for me. complex my rear end.


in the whole of a year, seeds

January 17, 2010

i’m not sure i’m convinced that this is still a good idea. but i don’t like the look of neglect. other places and kinds of writings have survived the turmoil of 2009… perhaps when i should have been giving here the most. so, in the spirit of new beginnings, a rainy day when nothing else is worth the attempt, a return. it is still true that centipedes have too many legs, this much i know.

lately we’ve taken to saying ‘our life resembles a bad high school short story’ or ‘you wouldn’t believe me if i filled you in’ or ‘actually, no, things haven’t been fine.’ well, the first, true. the second, also sometimes true, and even though i understand, it stings. the third, the hardest and most meaningful to say, also true. we still have all our necessary parts, a roof over our heads and food to eat, we still have each other. in the grand scheme of things, it could be a whole lot worse. in the slightly less grand, it’s really too much to handle. but handling it is the only option, for as long as that takes, and coming out on the other end with as little collateral damage as possible.

meanwhile, seeds. the backyard garden was one item of success in a very long and disappointing year. nothing like the tangible accomplishments of growing things–things which can be eaten. a handful of failures, the cucumber seeds were duds (replacements were obtained) the gigantic (also beautiful) potato plants were not only of the wrong variety, they had a ridiculous yield. but in the face of bountiful eggplants, tart-delicious tomatoes which had nary a spot of blight, a rosemary bush bigger than a small child, potatoes can go screw. already, in the midst of this odd, mostly welcome january warm snap, plans for the next spring seeds are underway.

wednesdays all summer and fall were a stolen delight–tea with good friends in the early afternoon followed by farm stand shopping (oh my!) followed by csa pick up (oh my!) followed by yoga and then frequently cooking. who gets to have a day like this mid week? always a moment of rest. a moment of discovery. a moment of yum.

another highlight–beginning to teach the sunniest child (in the sunniest of places) to swim. so many giggles, so many shivers. so much more to come.

the addition of some kitchen appliances that make us feel fully grown up. the lack of job stability that makes us feel lost, and terribly behind in the game. a loss. a fantastic kiss. how does one sum up a whole year?


rain. and more rain.

March 30, 2009

okay so it’s the end of march. as previously stated, blogs don’t suffer from neglect. but perhaps there was an effect on me?

first is of course the gardening news. the seeds are sprouting! so far, three tomato, one eggplant and one very precocious pepper sprout. i am planning to do almost all of the back yard garden from seed this year–it’s much cheaper, sprouts are ridiculously adorable, and most importantly, i thought ahead and started them in time. the average last frost date for phila is 4/14, so i will (somewhat cautiously, as things have been odd weather-wise lately) plant the direct sow (ie–outdoor starters) sometime this week. a delight–the rosemary and thyme have successfully over-wintered; while they remain delicious and thriving, the sage remains to be seen. i have also purchased some proper mini-trellises for the green beans. last year’s were droopy! and the seed potatoes are guaranteed not to have blight. and perhaps, maybe, possibly there will be a small blueberry bush. that’s if we decide we could harvest any out from under the noses (ahem, beaks) of our new bird tenants. (outdoors, no new friends in the house, there isn’t any more room!) they are a collection of sparrows, per usual, and a delightful group of mourning doves. they make me recall fond childhood visits with the paternal granparents. they sit on his office windowsill reminding him of (not-so-fond) childhood mornings being dragged out of bed for school. they are idiotic, and lovely. so far, though, nobody has moved into the birdhouse. it’s quite cozy, the first year it housed some very happy (and very productive) little wrens. at least i think they were wrens.

it’s really very late. i’ve been on a kick of 4am to noon sleep, which feels in some ways lethargy-inducing. need to get back to the far more natural 2am to ten. other news will have to wait. hopefully not two months.


living on the surface

January 5, 2009

blogs don’t suffer from neglect. they don’t.

peacefully moving along, living on the surface. there were the weeks of getting back into the swing of things, then the weeks of 12 hour day after day after day, then the weeks of settling down. and now the weeks of simple and enjoyable work. it’s not perfect, of course, but near enough.

meanwhile, there’s been some excitement. that’s what my mother always calls bad news. my nephew wound up in the hospital for a while. he is home again and fine, and i’m through processing all the scary what ifs. in the meantime, we went up to visit for a few hours. in that time we read new books (mr brown can moo, can you?) colored (triangle dogs, square dogs, round dogs, all with spots and stripes) and introduced his new toy. after a few tries he was able to say and remember nautilus. no, brother, it is not a snail, though that was a good try. i also introduced the concept of monster-walking, a big hit. towards the end of the night, he gave me a big kiss and said ‘i love you.’ what a charmer!

it was pleasant to live on the surface for a while, but having been shocked back under i’m thinking a lot again. of what, i couldn’t say, but the thinking mood is back. along with some free time to (read! knit! sleep!) be a bit more social again. and try a new gym, as sadly, the beloved yoga studio couldn’t make it in this quasi-recession. there’s a muscle in my right butt that is very displeased. then there’s the hopeful end to the blog and haiku lapse. and perhaps finally taking care of the parts of the garden that couldn’t withstand winter. and i’ve still been meaning to learn to make cassoulet. and to organize a stitch and bitch. and to go to the aquarium in baltimore. and to finally get a new laptop. and to try wearing contacts again. and to take long cold walks holding hands and snuggle up on the couch with blankets and tea and my feet tucked under his legs. you know, live.


can’t get off the roller coaster

November 19, 2008

lots to catch up on, but not now. now, just this: rollercoaster ride has begun. now the challenge is to balance all of the things in life i have been enjoying at leisure with the non-stop craziness that is my work schedule for the next month. the birds might get a little cranky with me. the laundry might not get done. the cold-hating herbs might live in the kitchen for a while before i get to harvesting. the new knitting projects, though, should get plenty of time. there are after all dinner breaks.


catch up; look ahead; ignore the now

November 6, 2008

catch up
so we won the world series. very long final game, silly weather. it’s been a decade since i watched baseball regularly and was a fan of another team. long enough that i got a bit happy and proud to have my city earn a win. and then everyone went nuts. see, when folks are happy, they’re supposed to act happy. turning over cars, smashing gigantic (gorgeous) planters full of new plants, ripping up newspaper holders and throwing them through store windows DOES NOT EQUAL HAPPY. seriously people. NOT well done. then, halloween. immediately prefaced by the victory parade, and full of a bit more frantic and scary energy than the lovely halloween should be. having celebrated in a most satisfactory manner all things halloween the weekend before, i chose to hole up in my house and ignore everyone else on friday. then, of course, election day. yet another reason for people to spontaneously parade on broad street. it seems this time, though, no mini-riot. just lots of happy people acting happy.

look ahead
plans are a-planning in full force now for the new show. in a week my official prep starts, and shorty after that rehearsals. so many exciting things happening on top of the usual excitements–original music, paper animation on giant screens and FALSE GROSS TEETH! which is of course my favorite part so far. so pleased to be working on this project. also, i plan to go to the zoo this week. we’ll see how that turns out, as you may remember, there have been some serious zoo failures in the past. i also plan to finish the new filing system to cure a certain tiny closet from its own personal hell-paper-virus. heh. we’ll see how that turns out as well. also plan to figure out the technical difficulties (why do flikr and ravelry not get along?) and add tremendous amounts of information about what i have/am/will knit(ing) because why wouldn’t i do that? of course, i plan to also finish the three open knitting projects during the rehearsal lunch breaks. hah!

ignore the now
well, it’s been a crappy week or so, punctuated by some very lovely days. i am lately susceptible to being consumed by my own livingroom. much more pleasant occurrences if i bother to actually talk to other human beings. left to my own devices too much equals not good this time around. (and yes, i still do live with someone i very much like to talk to, but he’s been on a night shift work schedule for a bit, so my own devices have had plenty of time to work. seriously, how do people do this for entire lifetimes?)  really i’m not as codependant as i sound… it’s just a funk. which is why i am ignoring the now, obviously. except for tomorrow at yoga, where i will luxuriate in the now, that’s what yoga is for, sometimes.

[in bonus news, today a certain old friend became a dad, and certain relatives celebrated many happy years of marriage, and tomorrow someone might decide to adopt roscoe the awesome cat who loves to chew on long hair]